Bruins Pot Four Goals in 4-1 Win Over San Diego State
SAN DIEGO, Calif. – Sophomore Tommy Silva scored a pair of goals in the opening 10 minutes and the UCLA men's soccer team never looked back in a 4-1 win over San Diego State in Friday night's regular-season finale at the SDSU Sports Deck.
With the win, the Bruins end the regular season with a 10-6-1 overall record. UCLA also clinched third place in the Pac-12 with a 5-4-1 league mark.
UCLA will learn its postseason fate on Monday morning with the NCAA Selection Show, which will air at 10:00 a.m. PT on NCAA.com.
SDSU, likely needing a win to remain in contention for an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament, finished the year at 8-7-2, 2-7-0.
Silva (2-1-5) led a Bruin attack that had three players log multi-point nights, as redshirt freshman midfielder Tucker Lepley and redshirt freshman forward Jose Contell each added a goal and an assist.
Silva got the Bruins on the board less than 30 seconds into the game. With the Bruins on the attack right off the opening whistle, freshman Aaron Edwards played the Bruins into a dangerous offensive opportunity by settling a popped-up ball near the box and laying off a pass down the right wing for Contell.
From there, Contell whipped in a cross to the box. The ball came to senior forward Kevin Diaz near the edge of the six-yard box, but he instead flicked the ball on for Silva on the left side, and he first-timed a left-footed shot inside the far post and past SDSU keeper Jacob Castro.
The Bruins took advantage of an SDSU misplay to double the lead just before the 10-minute mark. Lepley created the play, ripping the ball way from a SDSU center back on UCLA's defensive side of the field then streaking across the center stripe for a breakaway. The center back caught up with Lepley at the top of the box, but Lepley was still able to draw the keeper out and put a ball on the left side for Silva, who finished into the wide-open net.
SDSU began to up the offensive pressure after going down by a pair, leading to a 12-1 advantage in corners in the first half. The Aztecs capitalized on the last of those dozen corners, with Alex Hjaelmof hitting Austin Wehner at the near post for a score just before the halftime break.
The Bruins got back on the right track on the other side of halftime, with another forced turnover leading to a UCLA goal in the 51st minute. This time it was Tommy Silva who stole the ball away – as he pressed on Castro while he was trying to be fancy inside his own box – before tapping it to Jose Contell. His shot initially looked like it might have been cleared off the line by an SDSU defender, but it was ruled to have crossed the goal line for the Bruins' third score of the evening.
Lepley put it on ice in the 73rd minute, beating Castro from just above the box with a left-footed strike.
UCLA ended the game with an 8-13 deficit in shots, but the Bruins put all but two of their attempts on frame.
Freshman goalie Nate Crockford was busy in net, making a career-high eight saves on the night – four in each half. He turned aside several decent scoring chances for the Aztecs, including a diving stop of a Kyle Colonna curler in the 17th minute.